The Art of Writing,
a retreat in the Casentino Mountains of Tuscany
If you need help with your writing, join one of our two writers workshops in 2017
New Dates for 2017
June 4-10 or Sept 10-16
The workshops and lectures are geared to both first time and established writers. Conducted by two successful authors Lisa Clifford and Conrad Williams (June) or Martyn Bedford (Sept) , their classes will offer valuable information and networking opportunities and enable you to concentrate on how to get your work into a condition to be published.
Our workshops combine lectures from guest speakers – providing you with literary interaction with several published authors. There will also be time for relaxation by the beautiful swimming pool or discovery and solitude from a walk in the nearby woods.
However, you will be expected to work intensively, spending the morning in lectures, writing in the afternoon, gaining feedback from your tutors and through interaction with your group.
Please be aware – The Art of Writing workshop is not a working vacation, in which you will have time for retail therapy trips into Florence -so if you need to do that you had better book a second week staying in the City itself! The idea is to aid you to advance own project. Our goal is that you leave with a sense of accomplishment and a continued desire to master the art of writing.
We limit the class size to 11 people – all with their own private rooms complete with worktable and WiFi to ensure that you receive the time and solitude you need to concentrate on your work, as well as the stimulus of sharing your experience with other writers.
All this combined with talks from other guest writers and the attention and feedback you may need to encourage the creative process.
There will be a late afternoon recreational activities in this unique part of Tuscany , including learning how to make pecorino and ricotta cheeses at a nearby Agriturismo venue, (see below) plus , naturally , ample opportunity to take stimulus from the beautiful local scenery.
The daily workshops will be held in the beautiful Tuscan Valle del Casentino – known as “Il Luogo delle emozioni “- the seat of emotions – an unique part of Tuscany still filled with the silence and peace of timeless places filled with the fragrances and tastes of an ancient culture.
About your Tutors
Lisa Clifford grew up in Sydney. She moved to Italy when she was sixteen years old and returned to Australia after winning a scholarship to the Australian, Film, Television and Radio School. Following a career in journalism that includes reporting for 2GB, Mix FM and Channel 10 news, Lisa was associate producer of the Channel 10 Late News. Throughout her career, she continued to travel to Italy, corresponding for 2UE, the ABC’s Radio National and the Voice of America News Service. Lisa contributes opinion pieces, guides and lifestyle articles on Italy to The Australian, The Australian Financial review, Gourmet Traveler and a range of other magazines and newspapers. She is the author of Walking Sydney and The Promise – an Italian Romance and Death in the Mountains.
Lisa lives in Florence with her husband and two children. She has a very positive attitude to life as is displayed her recent radio broadcast with Karen Swain on Accentuate the Positive, which can be found by following the highlighted link to her website.
In 2009, Lisa was named the winner of the Australian Victorian Premier’s Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia.
Naples, A Way of Love
Join Lisa and photographer Carla Coulson on this intimate and magical journey through one of the oldest cities in the world. Naples, A Way of Love takes us away from the tourist traps and into the heart and soul of the city, a mystical paradise of hidden cobblestoned alleyways, shrines to the saints, ancient crypts filled with skulls, street art, fishermen’s quarters, and some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world.
Through Carla’s intimate portraits and stunning atmospheric shots coupled with Lisa’s touching and honest reportage we meet the people and places behind this fascinating city. Captured vibrantly in words and pictures this is the Naples Carla and Lisa know so well. Learn how to order coffee the traditional way, walk inside the Conservatory of Music, meet Antonio the mandolin man and, of course, taste the pizza for which the city is famous.
Regular Tutors include:-
James (Jim) Friel
Novelist James Friel, author of many books including The Posthumous Affair, in which he defends the value and virtues of the single life against the widespread cultural view that being in a couple is a superior state of being.
The Posthumous Affair by James Friel, (Tupelo Press) ‘…a devastating and illuminating exploration of love and grief, opens in late nineteenth-century New York then travels to a Venice that is mysterious, decaying, and gloomily beautiful… All the way through, the novel is so lucid, and reveals such deep understanding of the emotions, that it presents to us an astonishing new form of erotic love.’
The first twelve years of Martyn Bedford’s writing career were spent as a journalist on regional newspapers. His initial book Acts of Revision won the Yorkshire Post “Best First Work” Award. He later became the director of the novel writing programme at the University of Manchester, and is fiction critic for the Literary Review. Currently, Bedford teaches the Creative Writing module at Leeds Trinity University.
- Acts of Revision (Doubleday, 1996)
- Exit, Orange & Red (Bantam, 1997)
- The Houdini Girl (Random House, 1999)
- Black Cat (Viking, 2000)
- The Virtual Disappearance of Miriam (digital narrative, 2000)
- The Island of Lost Souls (Bloomsbury, 2006)
- Flip (Walker, 2011)
- Never Ending (Walker, 2014)
- Twenty Questions for Gloria (Walker, 2016)
Conrad Williams was born in 1969. He is the author of seven novels (HEAD INJURIES, LONDON REVENANT, THE UNBLEMISHED, ONE, DECAY INEVITABLE, LOSS OF SEPARATION and DUST AND DESIRE), four novellas (NEARLY PEOPLE, GAME, THE SCALDING ROOMS and RAIN) and two collections of short stories (USE ONCE THEN DESTROY and BORN WITH TEETH). He has won two major prizes for his novels. ONE was the winner of the August Derleth award for Best Novel, (British Fantasy Awards 2010), while THE UNBLEMISHED won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel in 2007 (he beat the shortlisted Stephen King on both occasions). He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer in 1993. He won another British Fantasy Award, for Best Novella (THE SCALDING ROOMS) in 2008. In 2009 he was Guest of Honour at the World Horror Convention. He edited the anthologies GUTSHOT, which was shortlisted for both the British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards, and DEAD LETTERS (forthcoming from Titan Books). He is an associate lecturer at Edge Hill University.
He lives in Manchester, UK, with his wife, three sons and a monster Maine Coon.
Conrad Williams is represented by James Wills at Watson, Little Ltd.
Stop Press – 2017 Dates
Sunday June 4th through to Saturday June 10th – with Conrad Williams
Sunday September 10th through to Saturday September 16th – with Martyn Bedford
For full information on accommodation and pricing, and feedback on the fantastic workshops we have held in the same location since 2013 please check The Art of Writing website, on www.the-art-of-writing.com